Lancaster, CA Economic Overview
Lancaster is a city in northern Los Angeles, located in the Antelope Valley of the wester Mojave Desert, in Southern California. The city is bordered by several unincorporated Los Angeles County communities and the city of Palmdale, just 70 miles from Downtown Los Angeles. With 94 square miles of residential communities, recreation and art venues, high-tech companies, retail shops, and open, natural space, Lancaster fosters a vibrant atmosphere for living and a limitless location for business opportunity, home to over 161,000 residents. Twice-recognized as a “Most Business-Friendly City” by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, Lancaster fosters an environment high quality jobs and commercial opportunities to abound. The city’s main economic clusters, located within the Lancaster commercial real estate scene include companies and jobs in aerospace, specialty manufacturing, and logistics centers. The city attracts a growing base of international, national, and local companies, from a diverse field of industries, each year. Thousands of visitors also tour the area each Spring season to enjoy the beautiful poppy and wildflower fields among its world-famous Joshua trees.
Attainable housing and recent economic growth have made Lancaster a focal point for both families and business looking to relocate or expand and wish to enjoy all the advantages that Southern California has to offer. Lancaster boasts one of the lowest costs of living, out of Californian cities, 89.8% less expensive than San Francisco. From its humble beginnings as a water stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad, Lancaster manages to both grow economically, and retain a family-focused, hometown spirit that hosts an average household income of $66,634. The broader Antelope Valley market has a diverse range of industries, including aerospace, healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, and the film industry. The film industry flocks to Lancaster to capture the essence of the Antelope Valley in movies, television shows, commercials, and music videos filmed in the city each year, bringing many additional visitors to its hotels, businesses, and retail establishments. Lancaster has undertaken ambitious “green” energy endeavors, with a future goal of Zero Net Energy status, ensuring that Lancaster will produce and procure more energy than it consumes as an entire community. Lancaster is also home to the nation’s first BYD electric bus manufacturing plant and was the first city to offer affordable solar housing, which is now a residential building standard in the community. The Lancaster Redevelopment Agency has managed to attract major business operation to the area, such as SYGMA, Rite Aide, Michaels, Bank of America, and more. The largest employers in the area include Edwards AFB, China Lake NWC, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin.
Lancaster, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
The Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance describes five areas as business and industrial parks in the city of Lancaster: Fox Field Industrial Corridor (adjacent to the General William J. Fox Airfield) along Avenue G, North Valley Industrial Center, Lancaster Business Park, Enterprise Business Park, Centerpoint Business Park, and the Southern Amargosa Industrial Area. Lancaster has a thriving retail sector, growing at about 4.7% from 2015, with at least four shopping centers, including Valley Central Way, Lancaster Boulevard, Lancaster Commerce Center, West Lancaster Plaza Shopping Center. Lancaster retail sales are the highest and fastest growing in the Valley. The City’s redevelopment agency recently revitalized Downtown Lancaster Old Town Site, resulting in the renovation of business facades and the attraction of new businesses, including boutiques and restaurants in the Old Town area. Lancaster has recently experienced a significant uptick in commercial development throughout the city limits with notable developments including a new retail center at northwest corner of Ave K & 10th St West, two new spec buildings totaling more than 60,000 square feet in the Lancaster Business Park, and a redevelopment of the former Union Bank building on The BLVD.
Compared to the rest of the Metropolitan Los Angeles market, the Lancaster region has lower rates. The average office space size in this area is around 1,350 square feet, and most properties in this area are approximately one story tall.
Lancaster Business Park is Antelope Valley’s premier business address that offers a prestigious location for a corporate presence. The development provides sites from one-half to 15 acres, is home to 100 companies, employs over 4,100 people, and has attracted well-known firms including Morton Manufacturing, Deluxe Inc., Deutrel Industries, and Lance Camper.
The BLVD in downtown Lancaster is northern Los Angeles County’s premiere regional destination for the arts, shopping, dining, and entertainment. The site features trendier office space, among its popular boutiques, family owned businesses, and wide variety of restaurants.
Lancaster, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 1,256,033 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 396,109 SF / 31.54% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 859,924 SF / 68.46% of total office
- Class A: 223,530 SF / 17.8% of total office
- Class B: 432,503 SF / 34.43% of total office
Total: 3,806,601 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,222,673 SF / 32.12% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 1,143,516 SF / 30.04% of total industrial
- 500k to 1M SF: 1,440,412 SF / 37.84% of total industrial
- Class A: 1,896,218 SF / 49.81% of total industrial
- Class B: 1,095,041 SF / 28.77% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 3,675,811 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,138,919 SF / 30.98% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 2,536,892 SF / 69.02% of total office with retail
Employment in Lancaster, CA
The greater Antelope Valley has a distinct advantage for potential employers, not only providing a well-trained workforce of 76,329, but the cooperation of industry and education providers needed to develop customized training programs. The largest occupation areas in Lancaster include Office/Admin (14.98%), Sales (11.27%), Management (8.34%), Transportation/Logistics (6.55%) and Construction (6.29%). Lancaster unemployment was down 5.7% at the end of 2016, down from 6.7% in 2015.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries in the Los Angeles County area with the highest employment numbers include:
- Trade, Transport, and Utilities—currently employs 820,900, growing at 0.2%/year
- Education and Health Services—currently employs 781,000, growing at 2.6%/year
- Professional and Business Services—currently employs 615,900, growing at 3.1%/year
Education in Lancaster, CA
Lancaster is administered by four public school districts, including Antelope Valley Union High School District, Eastside Union School District, Lancaster School District, and Westside Union School District. The City also hosts over 20 private schools within the city limits. The city has taken an active role in education through its Lancaster CARES after-school program, which was created in collaboration with the Lancaster School District. CARES provides learning and enrichment activities as well as mentors and positive adult role models to give children the encouragement and personal attention essential to building future leaders. SOAR (Students on the Academic Rise) is a specialized high school, which is located on the Antelope Valley College campus, but is part of the Antelope Valley Union High School District.
Lancaster is home to the University of Antelope Valley, Antelope Valley College as well as a satellite campus of California State University, Bakersfield. In 2005, Charter College was opened. The city has spearheaded the development of the Lancaster University Center to provide local students with a chance to receive a first-rate education in engineering and technology.
Commuting Time in Lancaster, CA
Lancaster presents many convenient transportation options, due to its central location in the Valley and proximity to Los Angeles. The Antelope Valley Freeway (State Route 14) provides a convenient route south to Greater Los Angeles or north to High Sierra vacation lands. Adventurous motorists find the Angeles Forest and Angeles Crest Highways to be scenic routes to the Pasadena area. Highways 138 and 58 run east and west through the Antelope Valley. Interstate Freeways 5 (to Los Angeles and Sacramento) and 15 (to San Diego and Las Vegas) are easily accessed from these highways.
Public transportation options include:
- The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) local bus service takes children to school, employees to work, and residents to local stores and malls. AVTA also provides Dial-a-Ride which is a curb to curb van service primarily for disabled persons.
- AVTA provides commuter bus service to Downtown Los Angeles, Century City/West L.A., and the San Fernando Valley. These routes operate during the work week only and depart from Lancaster City Park and Palmdale Transportation Center.
- Rail service is available from the Antelope Valley to Santa Clarita, the San Fernando Valley and L.A. basin cities from Monday through Saturday by Metrolink.
Employees in Lancaster have a longer average commute time of 30.3 minutes than the national average of 24.8 minutes. The largest share of workers drives alone to work, followed by those who carpooled and work at home.
- Total Population159,028
- Male Population(50.3 %) 79,960
- Female Population(49.7 %) 79,068
- Median Age32.60
- Average Household Income$70,644
- Median Household Income$55,237
- Median Income Under 25$32,600
- Median Income 25-44$55,424
- Median Income 45-64$64,833
- Median Income Over 65$39,949
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